I’ve never been one to pass judgement on something I haven’t tried for myself. So, when three of my friends revealed they had been using – and loving – menstrual cups, I was curious to test the mooncup out.
What is a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cups are an alternative sanitary product that is made of non-porous silicone, meaning you can reuse the same cup safely and hygienically for years, which also makes it much cheaper than tampons and pads. Given what I know about period waste and plastic pollution, this seemed like a positive innovation in the often archaic world of women’s health and I felt a responsibility to give it a go.
What size Mooncup should you use?
I opted for the most well-known and widely available version – Mooncup. First thing’s first, the sizing is confusing. There are two sizes – A and B, but rather counterintuitively, A is the bigger size, designed for women who have experienced childbirth, and B is for women who haven’t and is significantly smaller. Thinking it was the other way around, I ordered an A, which made for a rather uncomfortable start to my moon cup journey.
How do you use a menstrual cup?
Luckily, things improved with the B, but insertion was still tricky at best and messy at worst. To use the cup, you fold it in half lengthways and then fold it again, so as to make it as narrow as possible. Then, for want of a better word, you just kind of shove it up. Finally, there’s a little toggle at the base that, once your cup is in place, you tug on ever so gently to create a leak-proof suction.
A couple of things; no one told me you’re meant to cut the toggle to fit, so for a few days, I was walking around with it poking out. Yep.
How do you take out a menstrual cup?
The other thing is the process of emptying it. Now, if you’re squeamish, menstrual cups may not be for you. I, on the other hand, have always been fascinated by bodily functions so to see an undiluted collection of my menstrual blood was fascinating. Up until then, I’d only ever experienced my period blood diluted in the toilet bowl, or else absorbed into a tampon.
To empty the cup, you just pull it out by the little toggle, tip the contents out into the toilet and then rinse it off in the sink – simple enough if you’re at home in your bathroom but oh-so-slightly less convenient if you’re in the cubicles at work. Luckily the moon cup doesn’t need to be changed as often as a tampon, so even if you have a heavy flow, you’ll have a bit more time to find a private place to empty it.
Do menstrual cups leak?
Full disclosure; I experienced a few leaks. I never managed to nail the whole suction thing, although I’m told practice makes perfect. The problem is, I don’t have the time or the tolerance; I need to be covered from first use, not after months of practice. So, out of sheer exasperation, I gave up.
The reality is, I really want to love the moon cup but I just can’t make it work for me. Since, I’ve discovered biodegradable tampons from brands like TOTM and Pink Parcel and am eagerly awaiting the launch of Dame, a reusable tampon applicator, so at least I’ll be doing my bit for the environment.
Taken from GLAMOUR UK. Read the original here.